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Pregnant mom calls Problem Solvers over apartment sickness: ‘We shouldn’t be in here’

Posted at 11:08 AM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 11:08:21-04

RICHMOND, Va . -- A Richmond mother called the CBS 6 Problem Solvers after her apartment made her family sick.

The strong smell of mold filled her Whitcomb Court housing unit, she said.

"It gives us headaches and makes us feel certain ways," the pregnant mother, who asked her name not be made public, said. "The doctor told me that it can harm me and the baby and the fact that my children have asthma. We shouldn't be in here at all."

The mother said she and her two boys have tried for months to get someone from her leasing office to fix the issue and get rid of the smell. After multiple calls, she said nothing changed.

"I called the manager and left a message," she said. "She never returned my call."

A visit to the rental office also yielded no results.

"When I seen they weren't doing anything about it, I contacted the Problem Solvers," she said.

There was no mold visible on the walls, floor, nor ceiling, but the smell was powerful. It only took about 10 minutes inside her home with the boys bedroom door open before the CBS 6 Problem Solvers crew began to experience headaches.

The apartment is managed by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

After repeated calls from the CBS 6 Problem Solvers, maintenance and the leasing manager visited the apartment.

"They said that I am not letting the room air out and that's what the smell is coming from," the mother said.

Weeks later, the smell remained.

The Problem Solvers followed up and eventually got the attention of RRHA CEO Damon Duncan

He responded with a statement, which read, in part:

The initial location of the odor was unknown to the resident and staff. After further investigation it was determined that a washer flood had caused the odor and it was located underneath the bedroom floor tile. Various mildew remediation techniques were used until the unit was free of any moisture, mildew or unpleasant odors. As of today the unit is in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.

The mother followed up with the CBS 6 Problem Solvers to report the odor in her unit was fading.